Gaming videos are incredibly popular on YouTube, as is to be expected—the gaming industry has far surpassed all other entertainment mediums in terms of revenue, so there’s clearly an appetite for it.
Now, we have written about making videos without showing your face before. There are a lot of you out there who are interested in making content, creating things, and growing a YouTube channel but don’t want to put your face on screen. And there are plenty of reasons why that might be the case, but does the gaming niche lend itself to this way of YouTubing?
YouTube Isn’t Twitch
The most common format for gaming videos—at least in the minds of most viewers—is the style made popular by the streaming service, Twitch. This style would typically see the majority of the screen taken up by the game being played, but with a corner of the screen given over to a small camera feed of the streamer. This is by far the most recognisable form of gaming video, but there are a few things to note about it.
Firstly, Twitch isn’t YouTube. Twitch is a platform built specifically for live streaming, and most YouTubers do not focus on streaming as their primary format.
Secondly, it’s worth remembering that just because most Twitch streamers use this style, it’s not mandatory, and many Twitch streamers have found success without showing their faces on stream, so there’s no reason a YouTuber can’t do the same thing.
Finally, there is more flexibility to the YouTube way of doing things, and more options when it comes to how you present your content. Twitch streamers are doing things in real-time; their content is live, raw, and unfiltered. YouTubers (when they are making videos and not streaming) can meticulously edit their content to create more complex narratives, jokes, or just to look slicker.
Common Faceless Gaming Video Styles
There are already many gamers making content on YouTube without showing their faces, so you have plenty of inspiration to draw from when deciding on a style of video to go with. Here are some of the most popular ones.
All Game, All the Time
By far, the simplest gaming video format is the 100% game style of video. With this type of gaming video, rather than worry about what to put on screen, the YouTuber just uses the footage of the game as the entirety of the visuals.
Of course, whether you would supplement this with anything is entirely down to you as a YouTuber. There are successful examples of gaming YouTubers who just play game footage without so much as an audio commentary. There are YouTubers who add humorous captions to go with the footage. There are even YouTubers who use gaming footage as a kind of visual placeholder while they talk about something completely unrelated to gaming, such as politics, or Internet drama.
Mask or Persona
The suitability of this style will depend on your reasons for not wanting your face on camera. If it is for privacy reasons, you may want to keep looking, as any video footage could potentially leak personal information if you are not careful.
If it is just a matter of shyness, however, you might consider creating a character, like Dr Disrespect, or just wearing a mask or costume. Doing this might take a bit of getting used to, but it often helps people who are too shy to show their face on camera to get comfortable with being in their videos.
And, in the longer term, it can serve as an effective stepping stone to completely abolishing that shyness.
Become a vTuber Gamer
This option has all the same benefits as a mask or costume, but with the added bonus that it works for privacy as well, since nothing from the real world will be onscreen. vTubers are YouTubers who control a virtual character rather than being onscreen themselves. These characters are often controlled through motion tracking devices—such as VR headsets—but can also be done using a keyboard and mouse. It’s worth remembering that, while this method has advantages over a simple mask or costume, it generally requires more expensive hardware, and is not necessarily beginner-friendly.
Think Outside the Box
The three styles shown above are the most popular ways of creating gaming videos without showing your face, but they are by no means the only ways.
Don’t feel like you have to fit into some pre-existing box when you set about creating your channel.
If you can come up with a way of creating gaming videos that is unique, you might even do better than if you had gone with a more familiar format.
Why Avoid Showing Your Face?
The two main reasons a YouTuber might want to avoid showing their face on camera are shyness and privacy.
Shyness, in particular, can seem strange to many, since being shy would seem to be at odds with wanting to make YouTube videos, but shyness can come in many forms.
There are rock stars who are comfortable performing in front of tens of thousands of people, who turn into shy, awkward mumblers in the face of an interview.
Privacy is pretty self-explanatory—some people value it more than others.
The meteoric rise of the gaming industry has ensured that the demand for gaming-related content is strong and, while over-saturation may be on the cards at some point, we don’t seem to be there yet. And even if we were, YouTube has a strong personality component to it, by which we mean you can still find an audience with unique and engaging content, even in a competitive niche.
If you are too shy, or you value your privacy too much to get in front of a camera, gaming is perhaps one of the better subject matters to dive in with, since it is easy to make content that feels perfectly natural without your face being in it.
And, of course, don’t be afraid to experiment. Push your comfort boundaries a little, and see what you can come up with.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.